We are leaving soon for Atlanta to join the Foursquare Convention. I wanted to share a few thoughts about convention as I see it. Last year, the Foursquare leadership dubbed convention under a new name, Connection, to give people more of a sense of why they come.
The first few things I think of when preparing to attend a Convention include in no particular order, what the good food is for this city, which of my friends are going to be at convention, and is there a baseball game in town (Convention always starts on Memorial Day). Then I begin getting ready and excited for the coming convention.
To me, Convention is all about connecting with friends and making solid connections for the ministry. The meetings are important and have their place, but many in my generation look forward to this spaced to see friends and share life.
Convention gives the space to reconnect with old friends that you see at the most once-a-year, or sometimes less. The space and time of convention allows for encouragement, refreshing, renewing vision, and building one another up as we deepen the connection we have with one another in our movement. I am looking forward to sharing meals with people I went to Bible College with and new friends we have made since. I look forward to catching a baseball game with some friends as we share stories about ministry in each of our own contexts. (I’ll add another stadium to my lifelong quest to see all the baseball fields.) I even hope to catch a morning run with some other friends, who bring their running shoes for such a purpose of seeing different cities as we run through them. I will be looking for those running buddies again…I have my shoes and shorts.
Yes, we have business to attend to and that is probably the primary reason to have a convention. This year we need to elect a new president, discuss bi-laws and go over the budget. We need to function in certain ways to stay on track and that is okay. We also will have meetings to and gather together to worship. I pray the Holy Spirit moves in these times and refreshes the body of Foursquare ministers.
Yet, I also pray that the Holy Spirit moves in the times of connecting with one another over meals, coffee, dessert, baseball games, walking the city, praying with one another in the lobby and wherever the good people we serve with in Foursquare connect in Atlanta this year.